This pensioner has bravely spoken out after being left with severe bruising and cuts to his face during a vicious attack in his own home.
Frank Davis, 92, opened the door to a male caller at about 6pm on Friday, September 7, in the area of George Nutt Close, Northampton.
The caller barged past him, into the house, assaulted him and then demanded money.
The offender stole a quantity of cash from the property and before he left the house made reference to the victim being lucky that he had money.
Speaking about the incident, Mr Davis said: “He grabbed my face with his hands and dug his fingers in.
“It really hurt. He hit my head against the floor several times.
“He asked for money, I was so afraid, I thought I better tell him otherwise he would kill me.
“I had no choice. I was scared and afraid for my life.
“I don’t know how someone can do this. He came into my house, and attacked a vulnerable man like me.
“These people have no conscience. I really thought I would be killed if I didn’t tell him where the money was.”
Two separate offences were also reported to the police over the last few days.
An artist’s impression has been released following a distraction burglary which occurred at about 3pm on Saturday, September 8, in the area of London Road.
During this incident, the offender knocked on the door of a 90-year-old man, claiming to be from the water board and needing to check the water supply.
Once in the property, the offender pulled a knife on the victim and demanded money. He then made off with a quantity of cash.
A third incident was also reported to the police on Thursday, September 6, in Delapre Crescent Road. At about 3pm an offender knocked on the door of an 84-year-old woman and claimed to be from the water board.
He pushed his way into the house and instructed the victim to test the taps.
When she became suspicious and asked him to leave he slapped her and demanded money. He then left the property having stolen a quantity of cash.
This latest series of incidents follows seven distraction incidents which have been reported to police since early June.
While in some of the cases, entry was not made by the offender, in some of the cases cash was stolen or the victim was assaulted.
The earliest report of a distraction incident was received on June 7, and occurred in Treetops, Northampton.
A second report of an incident was on Thursday, July 12, in Bedford Road East.
A third incident was reported on Friday, July 13, in Pennycress Place.
Another incident was reported on Sunday, August 19, in the same road.
Three separate incidents were reported on the evening of Sunday, August 26 – one in Pennycress Place, one in Pleydell Road and one in Sheraton Close, Northampton.
Detective Inspector Lorraine Gordon, who is investigating the incidents, said: “These are very serious incidents. Typically distraction burglaries, although unpleasant do not involve violence. What we have seen in the most recent incidents is an unusual level of violence on vulnerable victims.
“In particular, the attack on Mr Davis was callous and unnecessary, and we need to identify the offender responsible.
“We are doing everything we can to investigate theses crimes, and desperately need anyone with information to come forward. We also need family and friends who know of elderly residents to warn them and ensure they do not open the door to unknown visitors.
“If necessary, they can speak to them through the letterbox and ask them to return when there is an appropriate relative in the house who can check the visitor’s ID.
“We have issued two separate artist’s impressions of people we want to trace in connection with these crimes.
“Although there have been a number of distraction type incidents in Northampton recently, they are rare and at this stage there is nothing to suggest they are connected.
“We are carrying out regular patrols in the neighbourhoods and have investigators working to identify the offenders responsible. We would ask members of the public to contact us immediately if they have any information that can help the investigation and quote Operation Inferno when they call.”
If anyone has suspicions or concerns that distraction burglars or rogue doorstep traders are operating in your neighbourhood or targeting someone you know, call the dedicated doorstep crime number on 0345 2307702.
Anglian Water can be contacted free on 0800 145145. For Trading Standards advice you can call 0845 4040506.
In light of the incidents, police have issued the following advice to residents:
– Do not open the door if you do not recognise the caller
– Always ask for ID, if necessary take a contact number for the company and verify if the caller is genuine
– If the caller does enter the house, do not leave them unattended
– The water board no longer exists. Do not let anyone enter the house if they claim to be from the water board
– Always use a door chain or intercom if you have one
– If you feel concerned, dial 999